“Star Wars” isn’t just for movie theaters anymore. Now that Disney’s at the helm of George Lucas’ juggernaut, it’s expanded to the small screen with “The Mandalorian” (now in its second season). How popular is it? According to one metric, it topped the list of most in-demand TV shows, even ahead of such titles as “Game of Thrones” and “Stranger Things.”
With that kind of success, it’s natural that the show itself would have a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to financial success. You can find them in the plotlines if you know where to look. Check out these lessons you can learn from the Mandalorian, “Baby Yoda,” and the other characters in this engaging science fiction hit.
Don’t fall for easy ‘answers’
The show sets the stage for its first season when the title character, Din Djarin, gets an offer that seems too good to refuse: An off-the-books job to retrieve and deliver an “asset” in exchange for a bounty. The offer is sweetened by flattery, and Djarin ultimately accepts.
After he’s completed the mission and brought the target (The Child/Baby Yoda) back as agreed, however, a droid tells him he has instructions to terminate the “asset.” When Djarin refuses, the droid attempts to do so himself, whereupon the Mandalorian destroys him and departs with Baby Yoda.
Our lives, similarly, are full of flattering and too-good-to-be-true offers that wind up being attempts to play us for suckers. We should be on our guard against such proposals and, while we may not need to destroy a droid, we can protect our own assets by reading the fine print and thinking things through before we sign on the dotted line.
Prepare for the unexpected
Insurance can shield you from crisis, just like the Mandalorian’s beskar armor shields him from enemy assaults. And it’s not nearly as hard to find. Of course, you need to do your research before you purchase it.
There are plenty of auto insurance plans out there, and they’re not all created equal. There are plenty of factors to think about. Consider your payments: Do you want to pay monthly, every six months, annually? Do you want add-ons like roadside assistance? How high do you want your deductible to be?
Once you start answering these questions, you can narrow your options. Then use a similar process to choose your health insurance, homeowners’ insurance, and other plans to protect yourself.
Protect your home
Sundari, the capital of New Mandalore, was covered with a dome that protected it from the harsh desert conditions surrounding the city. You probably don’t need a dome around your house, but you do need to protect what’s inside. You never know when one of your major home systems, like your furnace, might break down.
If that happens in a cold climate during the dead of winter, and you don’t have the money to fix it, you’ll be in a difficult position. A home warranty can cover the cost of expensive repairs to your heater, air conditioning, plumbing, and other home systems, as well as major home appliances. It’s definitely worth considering.
Remain calm during emergencies
It’s one of the first lessons Luke Skywalker learned from Yoda in “The Empire Strikes Back”: Stay calm, keep your focus, and block out distractions.
In one episode of “The Mandalorian,” Baby Yoda — in a floating spherical baby buggy — calls upon the Force in a similar manner. Faced with a charging rhino-like beast called a mudhorn, he manages to keep it from harming his new caretaker.
The Force may not be available to us, but we do have the ability to stay calm and assess situations rationally. If we can keep our heads in stressful situations, we’ll be better equipped to use the tools we do have to avoid signing the wrong things or making the wrong moves with our money.
Stay true to your principles
Mandalorians follow a strict code of honor because they know it’s a way to earn trust: Friends can count on them to follow through on their promises, and so can adversaries — who know that a Mandalorian who sets out on a mission will see it through to completion.
Apply this same approach to financial matters. If, for example, you owe money or accept credit, be sure to repay the installments on schedule (or sooner), as you agreed to in the plan you accepted. If you miss or ignore payments, you’ll run up more interest and, if you delay too long, could begin hearing from debt collectors.
Worse still, you could be denied more credit in the future based on a low credit score. The first step in making sure this doesn’t happen is to know your credit. Then, begin to repair it. You may not be a Mandalorian, but you can still make it part of your code of honor.
“The Mandalorian” is filled with perils packed into TV episodes that range in length from half an hour to just under an hour. Our lives may not be so action-packed, but we face dangers of our own as we navigate what sometimes can seem like financial minefields.
If we keep our armor on, keep our wits about us, and make informed choices, however, we can protect what’s ours, maintain our honor, and even come out ahead.
By Jessica Larson, SolopreneurJournal.com